Like Stan and Kyle from South Park I’ve learned a lot this year. Politically this is arguably the most partisan and divided the US has ever been, and ultimately that’s not good for anyone … except maybe the 24 hour news organizations.

  • In January Robert Gibbs, the White House Press Secretary stepped down. I actually liked Dana Perino more, simply because she could go more than 4 words without uttering “ummmm … ” followed by a long pause. It boggles the mind that a smart dude like Obama could pick a guy who has a problem speaking in public as his main public speaker.
  • In January Gabrielle Giffords was shot by a mentally ill gunman. Rather than ponder where we went wrong in not only allowing the ill shooter to get a gun but slip through the cracks, treatment-wise, we immediately sought to assign blame. Mental health parity is still an unsung issue in this country, but I guess we’d rather spend billions on erection drugs rather than help the millions who are clinically depressed.
  • In March Japan was struck by an earthquake and the ensuing tsunami. In what might still turn out to be the world’s worst nuclear disaster, a nuclear power plant suffered at least a partial meltdown. It’s amusing that the people most for nuclear power (Republicans) are also the people who claim that government is mistake-prone and inefficient. Because nothing spells “safe” like mistake-prone and nuclear power.
  • At some point in the first half of 2011 at least a few Republicans argue about the Bush Tax cuts, saying they should be kept because “tax cuts pay for themselves.” They need to clarify this statement because apparently tax cuts pay for themselves only if they’re not presented by a Democratic president and only if they’re not mainly for the middle class.
  • In June yet another politician ignores the rule that if you’re caught with your hand in the cookie jar, admit it up front and things won’t be as bad. Who doesn’t still giggle that a politician named Wiener had to resign for showing his wiener. The really amusing part to me is all the outrage over his online exhibitionism. It’s horrible for a guy to show his privates yet a guy who divorced his wife because she had cancer and he wanted to upgrade is the leading Republican presidential candidate right now. I don’t get it.
  • In yet another curious bit of hypocrisy the Republicans show it’s ok to vote for a debt ceiling increase unless it’s a president you really don’t like. Yes, the debt is a problem, but we spent a month and 1/2 arguing over something that’s been done dozens of times before with hardly an eyelash batted while the unemployment rate continued to be unacceptably high. I know now why congress has to take so many recesses – they must strain their arms patting themselves on the back for doing mundane things.
  • In another interesting bit of hypocrisy, I learned that if a right-wing movement against government (the Tea Party) protests it’s considered patriotic, but if a left-wing movement against government (Occupy movement) protests they’re considered lazy and rabble-rousing.
  • Finally I learned that Republicans really are conflicted over who they want to run for president. The guy that makes most sense to the general public (Jon Huntsman) is polling at around 1% and isn’t even invited to some debates. The guy that most people think has the best chance to defeat President Obama (Mitt Romney) is apparently horribly distasteful to Republicans. Is it the Mormon thing? Is it the flip-flopper from Massachusetts thing? The guy that has the most effed-up financial plan that would actually raise taxes on the middle class and lower them drastically on the rich was only brought down because he apparently wants to get in the pants of every woman out there. After that little revelation hs 9-9-9 plan might as well have been “nein, nein, nein!”

This holiday season I’m praying for something new. I’m going to pray that we somehow learn to overcome the widening divide in our country. I still firmly believe that most political problems could be solved by getting money out of politics. Pouring money into the political process benefits only the richest of the rich, and America was not created to benefit .09% of the country while the other 99.9% struggle on with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Happy holidays, everyone.
 

 

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Zarberg is a member of The Political Observers, a sub-group of our writers who are devoted to topics that are political in nature. Zarberg provides a liberal viewpoint in his articles.

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